New Coalition to Lead the Fight for Responsible Regulation of Medical Marijuana Dispensaries, Growers and Caregivers

Medical Marijuana Campaign Seeks Responsible Regulation That Aligns With Voter Sentiment

DENVER, CO--(Marketwire - January 14, 2010) - With Colorado legislators set to convene the sixty-seventh General Assembly, a new coalition -- the Sensible Patient and Provider Coalition (SPPC) -- has formed to lead the fight for responsible regulation of medical marijuana dispensaries, growers and caregivers.

The coalition, made up of Colorado's leading medical marijuana organizations, represents the middle ground in the debate over regulation of medical marijuana.

With its mix of business owners, caregivers and patients, SPPC supports statewide medical marijuana rules that promote public safety, give local government key decision-making control, ensure patients have safe access to dispensaries and caregivers, and provide state and local governments with adequate taxes and fees to regulate and enforce medical marijuana regulations.

"The voters of Colorado support sensible, responsible regulation of the medical marijuana industry, and the majority of legislators recognize that," said Brian Vicente, co-chair of the Sensible Patient and Provider Coalition. "It's critical we come to consensus on this issue and then move on to other important issues that affect Coloradans."

Coalition members include:

-- Sensible Colorado,, a group of Colorado professionals and parents formed to research, educate, and advocate for effective drug policy.

-- Coloradans for Medical Marijuana Regulation,, a coalition of medical marijuana patients and providers formed to establish criteria for the regulation of medical marijuana in order to make a positive difference in people's lives.

-- Colorado Patients and Providers Coalition (CPPC),, a homegrown Colorado organization acting for the betterment of our local community and to aid in creation of legislation affecting fair regulation and to keep local business Colorado Owned & Grown (COG).

-- Dispensary Owner's Coalition,, a group of Denver-area medical marijuana dispensary owners and caregivers providing services to patients throughout the region.

SPPC seeks regulation that aligns with voter sentiment. A recent poll by Coloradans for Medical Marijuana Regulation, a SPPC coalition member, showed that Colorado voters overwhelmingly favor establishing state-licensed marijuana dispensaries for persons who are suffering from debilitating medical conditions. By a margin of 2-to-1, 64 percent of voters said they would approve proposals that would establish state-licensed marijuana dispensaries to cultivate and provide marijuana to patients with doctors' recommendations.

SPPC members are opposed to proposals which seek to limit medical marijuana caregivers to five patients, as limiting caregivers to only a few patients will cause an explosion in the number of small-scale grow operations as larger operations are forced to close. That leaves police and local fire departments in the unenviable position of monitoring literally thousands of small grows in every corner of the state. As more patients are prescribed medical marijuana, more neighborhood-based caregivers will be servicing patients -- potentially in someone's backyard.

"The recent five to one proposals are wolves in sheep's clothing that will put public safety at risk and would be virtually impossible to regulate," said SPPC co-chair Matt Brown. "These plan will also require an army of new government regulators and that is something the state can ill-afford in this economic recession."

Contact Information: For more information, please contact: Shannon Fern CSG|PR (o) 303-433-7020 (c) 303-667-3553